Monday, April 12

A’peeling Bananas

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Nothing tastes like a ripe banana. These recipes feature this nutritious, delicious fruit just in time for your summer picnics.

Yes, we have some bananas, and they are much more than a part of a split or cereal topping. These ridiculously economical, year-round fruits have universal appeal and are far from ordinary. Let them shine in these novel ways at your next gathering!

Roasted Banana Ice Cream

Yield: 4 servings
  • 2 ripe bananas, unpeeled
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • ⅓ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Caramel or chocolate sauce, optional
  • Vanilla wafers
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using the tip of a sharp knife, pierce each banana five times and place (unpeeled) on a baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes and set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
  2. When cool enough to handle, peel and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Completely mash with the back of a wooden spoon or a masher. Stir in the half-and-half, sugar, salt and extract. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours before transferring to an ice cream maker. Freeze according to manufacturer’s directions. Transfer to a freezer container and freeze at least 2 hours before serving with sauce and vanilla wafers.

Banana Cream Pie

Yield: 8 servings
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • Dash of salt
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon banana extract, divided
  • 1 single pie pastry, baked and cooled
  • 2 bananas, peeled and thinly sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  1. Place the milk in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. In a separate saucepan, combine ⅔ cup of the sugar, salt, cornstarch, egg yolks and half-and-half. Place over medium heat. When the milk begins to form bubbles around the edges, around 5 minutes, pour into the sugar mixture, whisking until smooth. Continue to whisk constantly another 5 to 7 minutes or until the mixture is thick.
  2. Remove from the heat and add the butter, vanilla extract and ¼ teaspoon of the banana extract. Stir well to blend. Pour one-third into the pastry shell. Layer half of the banana slices on top. Repeat and pour the remaining custard on top. Set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on high speed of an electric mixer until foamy. Gradually add the remaining sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Fold in the remaining banana extract. Spread over the top of the pie, sealing to the edge. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack before serving.

Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding

Yield: 8 servings
  • 3½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1⅓ cups sugar
  • Dash of salt
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 cups milk
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon banana extract
  • 1 (12-ounce) package vanilla wafers
  • 6 medium bananas
  1. In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine the flour, sugar, salt, egg yolks and milk. Cook around 10 minutes, stirring constantly, until smooth and thick. Stir in the extracts. Layer one-third of the wafers in a 3-quart dish. Slice 2 bananas and layer over the wafers. Pour one-third of the custard over the bananas. Repeat twice. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Flamed Bananas Foster

Yield: 4 servings
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons banana liqueur
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 bananas, peeled, cut in half length-wise and cut in half crosswise
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum
  • Vanilla ice cream
  1. Place a large, heavy skillet over medium heat and add the butter. Stir in the sugar, liqueur and cinnamon. Stir constantly until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Place the bananas, cut sides down, in the sugar mixture. Cook until soft and slightly brown, about 4 minutes. Add the rum, but do not stir. Heat 2 minutes.
  2. Carefully light the sauce while tilting the pan away from you. Constantly swirl the pan until the flames die out, about 2 minutes. Place a scoop of ice cream in 4 serving bowls. Place 2 banana slices on each scoop. Evenly distribute the warm sauce over the bananas. Serve immediately.

Breakfast Banana Bread

Yield: 1 loaf
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (3 medium) mashed ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup water
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour a loaf pan and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the bananas, eggs, oil, honey and water until smooth. Add the flour mixture and stir to blend. Transfer to the prepared pan.
  4. Bake 55 minutes to 1 hour or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan 30 minutes. Remove and cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving.

Swirled Chocolate Banana Brownies

Yield: 24 brownies
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 teaspoon banana extract
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 13-by-9-inch baking dish and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugar and butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg, bananas and extract, beating until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to the batter and blend 1 minute.
  3. Drop half of the banana batter into the prepared pan. Add the cocoa to the remaining batter and mix well, about 1 minute. Drop spoonfuls of the chocolate batter over the banana batter.
  4. Using a knife, slightly swirl the batter. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before cutting and serving.

About Author

Tammy Algood develops for The Tennessee Magazine recipes that feature farm-fresh Tennessee food. Those fresh, local ingredients will always add cleaner, more flavorful foods to your table. We recommend visiting local farms and farmers markets to find the freshest seasonal produce. For more information about our recipes, contact Algood at

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